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  Gypsy Reviews
Gypsy
Gypsy

Gypsy
Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center For Arts
Thru - Dec 29, 2018

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Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center For Arts

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...This "Gypsy," which opened Tuesday at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts night to a rapturous reception, is far and away the best piece of direction of Weber's long career in Chicago musicals. He has been wont to get trapped in the clutter and clatter of details. Not here. Here, he has finally realized that the greatest Broadway musicals - and there is none greater than "Gypsy" with that music by Jule Styne, those lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and the caustic book only Arthur Laurents could have written - are, in fact, rooted in pain."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Both Butler's performance and the larger production lay bare the twin engines of comedy and tragedy that drive "Gypsy." The show is funny - Arthur Laurents' script has some grade-A zingers - but its arc is one that bends towards desperation. (It's notable that some of Gypsy's most famous numbers, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Together, Wherever We Go" seem cheerier out of context.) And under the musical direction of David Fiorello, Jule Styne's iconic, jagged score and Stephen Sondheim's jam-packed lyrics are vivaciously desperate, music and words pouring out like they're last-ditch pleas for mercy."
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Alex Huntsberger



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Recent Roses have tended toward a certain delicacy: Uggams, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone. Butler takes her all the way back to Merman. Her Rose is one great, ferocious growl-the human embodiment of guts, grit, starch, brass, and spunk, not to say loneliness, pain, and compulsion. As the Porchlight folks well know, since they've put her name over the title, Butler by herself is worth the price of admission."
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Tony Adler



Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...Let's be honest-E. Faye Butler as Rose in Gypsy is a dream come true for musical-theater lovers. But although she's undoubtedly the best reason to see Michael Weber's staging for Porchlight Music Theatre ( few star turns get, well, starrier than this role ), this Rose is surrounded by a bouquet of flowering talents-each with her own thorny issues."
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Kerry Reid



Stage and Cinema- Highly Recommended

"...It’s not just because Gypsy is that rare musical where every song either carries its weight, earns its place in the plot, conjures up its context (the era of vaudeville and the world of burlesque); or stands on its own for fertile melody and brilliant lyrics (who can resist such wonders as “Together, Wherever We Go,” the waltz “If Momma Was Married,” or the rapid romp “Mr. Goldstone, I Love You”?); or because the story pulls you along, as frantically as Rose does her fractious and all-suffering thespian clan (“Some People” is one of the greatest “I Want” songs in musical lore)."
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Lawrence Bommer



Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Highly Recommended

"...Director Michael Weber showcases this dynamic fast-paced musical as it follows the dreams and hardships of Mama Rose to raise her two daughters to perform on stage; as it casts an affectionate eye on the struggles of business life during the vaudeville era!"
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Rick and Brenda McCain



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...If you were down near Division and Dearborn last night , and felt the earth moving, it was not an earthquake. It was the Porchlight Music Theatre's production of "Gypsy" and the unbelievable E. Faye Butler bringing Mama Rose to life! This is "classic Musical Theater" at its best! Under the spirited direction of Michael Weber, who adds a lot of creativity to this timeless classic, this is a version that will make you forget all others you have witnessed before."
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...All the world’s a stage. Cliché as it may be, it’s the truth for Mama Rose. She lives, breathes, exists and longs for the stage. For E. Faye Butler, the dream has been to play Mama Rose in “Gypsy” and, by God, she does."
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Amanda Finn



WTTW- Highly Recommended

"...But of course it is Butler who once again brings down the house with "Rose's Turn" - that bitter confessional, exorcism and torrent of rage. Rose is not lovable, but like the actress playing her, she is indomitable."
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Hedy Weiss



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...Rose claims that she’s not going to die from sitting, but from getting up and getting out. Once Chicagoans hear about this fabulous production, every savvy theatergoer will be following her example by getting up and out to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in order to experience Michael Weber’s never-to-be-forgotten production. This is a chance to see the fabulous E. Faye Butler, one of Chicago’s finest musical actresses, in role that seems written especially for her. It’s is a production of a show that keeps its musical promise to Entertain You and Make You Smile."
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Colin Douglas



The Fourth Walsh- Highly Recommended

"...So much to love about this production! Even though Butler definitely leads this superb production of GYSPY, Harrell steps out of the shadow and transforms into her own person. A stunning sequence of strip tease performances (aided by Costume Designer Bill Morey) pushes Harrell into the spotlight. She has become a star! In the final scenes, Harrell is confident and sophisticated but not bitter. Harrell's Louise has a kindness I haven't experienced before in this character. Following Butler's spectacular meltdown in Rose's Turn, the lovely Harrell arrives onstage seemingly having overheard everything. The mama and daughter share disappointments, forgiveness and leave together for an unexpected happy ending."
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Katy Walsh



Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...The numbers across Gypsy‘s two acts (the show runs 2 hours and 40 minutes with one intermission) are as sharp as ever. Beginning with a big band performing the overture right on stage, Baby Louise looking on in wonder, and right through to Butler’s ovation-worthy delivery of “Rose’s Turn” in the final scenes, the melodies are familiar yet fresh, and Sondheim’s words are that wonderful, signature mix of witty and biting."
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Lisa Trifone



Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...This is nothing revelatory, but...E. Faye Butler is a force of nature. The actress-singer has performed on stages across Chicago and America and has been the recipient of numerous awards, so there is very little I can say about her that has not already been said, but the woman is an absolute force of nature. From the moment she steps onto the stage in the iconic lead role of Porchlight Theatre's magnificent new production of Gypsy, she just dominates it as if the role has simply been out there waiting for her to take it on (and this is a role originated by the great Ethel Merman)."
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Karen Topham



PicksInSix- Highly Recommended

"...Among the principal roles, in a cast that numbers close to 30, there are standout performances from Jose Antonio García (Herbie), Aalon Smith, (June) and Daryn Whitney Harrell (Louise) who evolves into the sultry Gypsy Rose. Harrell and Smith shine in "If Momma Was Married" and the trio of Butler, García and Whitney deliver the fun and tuneful favorite "Together, Wherever We Go." The Ensemble, which includes a slew of youthful performers, most notably the charming newcomer Izzie Rose (Baby June), are all terrific, as are the featured roles rendered by Marco Tzunux (Tulsa), Larry Baldacci (Uncle Jocko/Mr. Goldstone/Pastey) and Elya Faye Bottiger (Agnes). "
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Ed Tracy



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...GYPSY’s magnificent score may keep your mind off the cares of the holiday season. But ironically, as you watch the mobile proscenium’s painted gold and worn red curtain make its many turns, it becomes increasingly clear that the characters would love nothing better than some orange to call their own -- pumpkins, fireplaces, leaves and pies."
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Susan Lieberman



Rescripted- Highly Recommended

"...Fortunately, great entertainment never expires, and this production is fresh and fun. Gypsy at Porchlight is one of the best shows you will have the opportunity to see this season, and you would be remiss if you didn’t let Mama Rose show you what real showbiz is all about."
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Sheri L. Flanders